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Webflow, still a trend in 2023?

Analysis of Webflow and Wordpress trends for 2020-2023. Find out how these CMS are evolving in terms of research and adoption for website creation.

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5 min
 Visual generated by Midjourney representing a data analys in the digital webdesign industry

This morning, I was wondering...

→ Is Webflow an increasingly sought-after tool worldwide? And if so, is it at the expense of older CMS like WordPress, according to the principle of communicating vessels?

To answer, I took the time to :

  1. Examine Webflow and WordPress search volume with Google Trends
  2. Compare technology use in the website market via W3techs
  3. Analyze and compare these data to better anticipateweb design market trends

Over the last 3 years, from 2020 to 2023, and the results are astonishing!

Trend and adoption data analysis from 2020 to 2023

Tools used for this analysis :

  • Google Trends: for search volumes
  • W3techs: for statistics (market share by volume) on the technologies used for websites

1.1 - Google Trends figures

💡 What is Google Trends? Google Trends is an online tool that analyzes how often different terms are searched for on the Google search engine.

Period analyzed: August 2020 to August 2023

Key data:

  • Webflow global search volume: from 3 to 6.4 (+108.5%)
  • Wordpress global search volume: from 100 to 77 (-29.8%)

Source: Google Trends

Analysis: Search volume for Webflow has more than doubled over the past three years, indicating growing interest in this platform. In contrast, searches for WordPress have fallen by almost 30%. This could suggest that users are looking for more modern or flexible alternatives to WordPress.

However, it's important to note that search volume doesn't necessarily translate into adoption or actual usage.

1.2 - Usage statistics (CMS market share)

💡 What is a CMS? A content management system (CMS) is software that allows you to create, manage and modify content on a website without the need for specialist technical skills. The best-known CMS in the world are : WordPress, Wix, Shopify or Webflow, for example.

Period analyzed: January 2020 to August 2023

Key data:

  • Webflow: from 0.1% to 0.6% (+500%)
  • WordPress: from 35.4% to 43.1% (+21.75%)
  • Sites without CMS (hard-coded): from 43.1% to 31.6% (-26.6%)
Numerical analysis of CMS market share for websites worldwide from 2012 to 2023.
Numerical analysis of CMS market share for websites worldwide from 2012 to 2023.

Source: W3techs (Historical yearly trends in the usage statistics of CMS)

Analysis: Although Webflow grew by an impressive 500% in terms of market share, this figure should be treated with caution, as it started from a very low base. By contrast, Wordpress, despite a drop in interest according to Google Trends, saw its market share increase by almost 22%. This could indicate that Wordpress has a loyal user base that continues to grow.

Notably, the decline of hard-coded sites suggests that more and more companies and developers are turning to CMS solutions for ease of editing and speed of development.

1.3 - Analysis and comparison

Webflow is gaining in popularity but still has a relatively small user base. Meanwhile, WordPress is seeing a decline in search interest, but its market share continues to grow, probably due to its ease of use (template and plugins).

What's interesting is the decline in interest and use for websites that don't use CMS. Companies and developers may be beginning to understand the benefits of using tools like Webflow, in order to :  

  • Develop sites faster and better
  • Upgradeable websites thanks to CMS functionalities,

So this underlines a growth relay in volume for the years to come? 🤔

Conclusion on the future of the website market

Webflow is therefore an increasingly sought-after tool, but its adoption, and therefore its market share, is still modest. Conversely, WordPress is seeing a decline in general interest, but its market share continues to climb. The increase in WordPress' market share could be attributed to a loyal user base and a wide range of plugins and templates that make it more adaptable to a variety of needs.

On the other hand, the decline in hard-coded sites suggests a growing adoption of CMS, which could benefit Webflow in the long term.

In my opinion, Webflow's real growth potential lies not only in taking market share from WordPress, but also in its ability to empower businesses who want a highly customizable site, and who previously had sites that were fully coded and not scalable.

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